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Over 60 Feared Dead As Migrant Boat Capsizes Off Cape Verde

More than 60 people are believed to have died when a migrant boat that left Senegal in July capsized off Cape Verde, according to the Organisation for Migration (IOM).

In a statement, Senegal’s foreign ministry said that the boat carried 101 passengers on board, and 38 people were rescued, including four children aged 12 to 16.

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A Spanish finishing boat spotted the vessel on Monday, almost 320 kilometres from the island of Sal.

Cheikh Awa Boye, president of the local fishermen’s association, told Aljazeera that two of his nephews were missing. “They wanted to go to Spain,” Mr Boye said.

Jose Rui Moreira, a health official in Sal, told the AFP news agency that seven survivors were taken to hospital. 

It was yet to be cleared when the incident occurred.

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Initial reports suggested the vessel had sunk, but later clarified that it was found drifting.

IOM spokesperson Safa Msehil said: “Safe and regular pathways to migration are sorely lacking, which is what gives room to smugglers and traffickers to put people on these deadly journeys.”

Recent data revealed that thousands of refugees and migrants were fleeing poverty and war to escape, risking their lives for this dangerous journey.

In 2022, at least 559 people died attempting to reach the Canary Islands, and 126 died or went missing on the same route in the first six months. 

Most of them take modest boats or motorised canoes provided by smugglers, who charge a fee for the trip.

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